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Besson reveals how 'Avatar' influenced his latest project

By Xu Fan | China Daily | Updated: 2016-12-22 07:12

Besson reveals how 'Avatar' influenced his latest project

The sci-fi epic Valerian and The City of a Thousand Planets is about space adventures. [Photo provided to China Daily]

James Cameron's hugely successful 2009 sci-fi film Avatar had a dramatic impact on French director Luc Besson's plans for his upcoming film.

This was revealed by Besson, one of the most commercially successful directors in France, during a recent tour to Beijing to promote his sci-fi epic Valerian and The City of a Thousand Planets.

Besson, who is known for works that range from Natalie Portman's debut movie The Professional and the sci-fi hit The Fifth Element to Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson, says that he dumped the script for Valerian and The City of a Thousand Planets into a trash can after watching Avatar. "It was not good enough," he says.

He then spent nine months rewriting the story, and recruited animators from across the world to design alien characters, but there was a twist in his creative process.

He did not tell the animators about each other and did not give them clear instructions about what he wanted. This was because Besson believes it is the best way to maximize creativity.

"The limit today is not technology, but imagination," he says.

Around 90 percent of the characters in the film are aliens.

The movie features 3,236 alien species that speak more than 5,000 languages and make up a total galactic population of 2 million.

Besson says 70 percent of the aliens are new creations, while the rest are based on the original work on which the film is based.

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